Monthly Archives: April 2010

Healthy Schools Act…finally!

The Committee on Government Operations and the Environment and the Committee of the DC Council recently passed a GREAT piece of legislation that has the potential to significantly impact children attending DC Public Schools and DC Public Charter Schools, their families as well as the education and healthcare systems. The full council will vote next week (May 4th).

I don’t have to lecture you on childhood obesity, the lack of physical activity of the current generation or the type of lunches provided by some schools in our nation. The Healthy Schools Act co-introduced by Mary Cheh and Vincent Gray is the type of legislation that promotes collective responsibility as well as addresses many problems plaguing communities across the country including obesity, environmental sustainability, viability of local farming, childhood hunger, quality of food, training in skilled trades, education for future industries.

Highlights include:

  • Healthy Schools Fund: details how costs will be covered including to defray costs to lower-income families (to include a 1 cent tax on sodas and other sugary drinks sold in the District…shared responsibility, I love it!)
  • Farm-to-school Program: food provided by local farmers with preference given to food grown in the District/MD/Va. as well as education/ technical assistance.
  • Physical and Health Education: encourages a total of 60 minutes of physical activity throughout a day (walking or biking to/from school for older students, incorporating movement in classrooms, active recess in addition to physical education class and athletic teams).
  • Environment: a school gardens program, recycling in schools, using farmers who engage in sustainable practices, etc.
  • Healthy Youth and Schools Commission: establish a body to advise the mayor and provide feedback on components of the bill- it will include students!
  • Health and Wellness: monitoring of health levels and profile of schools and students (includes development of a plan to establish and operate school health centers in public high schools on or before December 31, 2015).
  • School Nutrition: provides caloric, trans fat and sodium parameters for meals and provide disclosure on menus, offering of filtered water with meals, meeting special dietary needs and encouraging students to eat breakfast at school.

There are other public school systems that have passed similar legislation and I am hopeful that more are headed the same direction. Yes, it is a drastic shift, yes, it will take time and yes, it will require if not more- different- paperwork. But, the payoffs will be endless for our children, families and communities.

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Posted by on April 30, 2010 in Education, Health, Youth


The Daily Grind


As a single working mom of a teen and a toddler, my days are interesting…

2:14am – Hearing my two-year old call from his room.

5:40am – Listening to the alarm ringing.

6:10am – Showering in the dark because the bulb blew and I don’t feel like going to the basement to get the ladder.

6:35am – Waking my thirteen year-old.

6:42am – Making lunch for my toddler to take to daycare.

7:34am – Telling my daughter to “get down here NOW” for the third time b/c her father is outside waiting.

7:42am – Negotiating with my son to trade Dora the Explorer fruit snacks for a breakfast of banana “cake” (bread).

7:43am – “Noooo! Pease Mommy pease, Dora pease.”

7:46am – Getting out the door after several rounds of Diallo buckling his legs under him rather than standing to walk out the door…gotta love age 2.

8:15am – Finally out of traffic- for no good reason- on the freeway.

8:30 – 8:35am – Strolling down the block talking to the birds and saying hello to every passerby.

8:40am – Recognizing the savory yet pungent smell of cumin that has been absorbed by my jacket while dropping off at daycare.

8:41am – Admiring the ticket on my windshield for parking in my usual block and not seeing the temporary/paper emergency no parking sign.

8:50am – Pulling into the parking garage annoyed that I am late.

8:52am – Taking off my jacket trying to let it air out before the 10am staff meeting.

9:17am – Still perusing the week’s worth of emails (about 500 which is oddly low perhaps the out-of-offfice assistant deterred repeat offenders) received last week during my vacation.

11:17am – In the meeting hearing the voicemail message tone for the second time from my office.

11:51am – On a meeting break, learning that I have to pick up my son by 2pm from the daycare.

1:29pm – Leaving late to pick up my son.

2:24pm – Running into the house to get my son set up and prep for a 2:30 call.

3:15pm – Wrapping up the call, connecting to my remote desktop.

3:32pm – Negotiating a fruit roll up for Easter basket candy.

3:38pm – Inputting edits for responses to Congressional testimony questions.

3:58pm – Taking my son upstairs for a nap after confiscating one blue, one green colored pencil that he used to perfect his mini mural on the wall in the foyer.

4pm – Exhaling.

4:05pm – Prepping and eating lunch.

4:07pm – Returning to the computer to finish the edits.

4:42pm – Finishing lunch.

5:13pm – Opening the back door for my daughter (my mom picked her up so I wouldn’t have to criss cross town again). Thank God she had McDonald’s on the way.

5:58pm – Giving my son a requested hug while he shakes off his nap.

6:14pm – Finishing the edits and emailing to a colleague.

6:17pm – Texting my girlfriend while she is in class b/c I didn’t get a chance to edit her paper that is due momentarily.

6:19pm – She responds saying that she can turn it in until 8pm.

6:21pm – Asking my daughter to please turn off MTV videos and take her brother upstairs for a 1/2 hour so that I can review Auntie’s Cry’s paper.

7:19pm – Emailing the edited paper. 

7:21pm – Running bath water for my son as he sings and waits while sitting on the potty. Asking his sister to watch him while I start his dinner.

7:23pm – Putting chicken tenders and waffle fries in the oven for his late dinner.

7:25pm – Putting clothes in the dryer.

7:27pm – Returning upstairs thankful to find my daughter giving him his bath.

7:29pm – Sitting on the couch admiring the black Sharpie designs my son lovingly scriblled there the day before.

7:43pm – Reminding my daughter that she has a remaining online assignment to complete tonight.

8:05pm – Another requested hug for the fresh-smelling boy.

8:12pm – Delivering dinner to my son, finally.

9pm – Watching LOST.

9:32pm – Putting my son to bed during a commercial break.

9:40pm  – Enjoying the quiet of my children in bed.

9:45pm – Eating a mini ice cream sundae which I have no business doing, especially this late.

10:29pm – Turning off the t.v., lights and activating the alarm.

10:40pm – Reading a few more pages of The Lovely Bones.

~11:05pm – Falling asleep with the book in-hand.

5:45am – Alarm sounds.

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